Suspected Ponzi Schemer Surrenders to FBI - NBC New York

Suspected Ponzi Schemer Surrenders to FBI

FBI says Cosmo may have cheated clients out of $100 million



    Suspected Ponzi Schemer Surrenders to FBI
    Nicholas Cosmo, third from left, turned himself into authorities Monday night.

    The owner of a Long Island investment firm accused of cheating people out of more than $100 million is expected to appear in court Tuesday.

    FBI spokesman Jim Margolin says Nicholas Cosmo surrendered at a U.S. Postal Inspection Service office in Hicksville on Monday night.

    Cosmo runs Agape World Inc. in Hauppauge. He's accused of taking in $300 million from investors and cheating them out of about $140 million.
    A letter hanging in Cosmo's office window denies there was any Ponzi scheme, the type of fraud Bernard Madoff is accused of committing. A Ponzi, or pyramid, scheme promises unusually high returns and pays early investors with money from later investors.

    "Right now, I think I've been scammed,"' Richard Bennett, 55, a Valley Stream real estate investor who invested $30,000 with Agape World, told Newsday.

    Cosmo Turns Himself In

    [NY] Cosmo Turns Himself In
    A man accused in what investigators think might be another Ponzi scheme turned himself in Monday night.
    (Published Monday, Jan. 26, 2009)

    Unlike Bernard Madoff, who is accused of bilking wealthy individuals and nonprofits, Agape World investors are more ``blue collar and they invested their life savings,'' Michael Kessley, a forensic accountant hired last year to investigate the firm, told Newsday.

    Defense attorneys at the Herrick Feinstein law firm haven't returned telephone calls seeking comment.